When a forest fire rips through the land, it has potential to cause all kinds of devastation. Trees are charred, homes can be lost, and even death of animals and people can result.
Our initial response as humans is to control the fire, to stop it. We don’t like anything in this life that feels out of our control, or that causes us pain. But have you ever stopped to think that it is not the fire that is unnatural, but rather our intervention to stop it?
Forest fires are God’s way of cleansing the earth, and creating a rebirth. The fire does not happen until it needs to happen, usually from a spark caused by lightening hitting a tree and then falling to the forest floor.
Dying trees that have been through a fire will release many seedlings, more in number than before the fire happened. Through the fire, over grown brush is cleared away, the years of decaying pine needles, old leaves are removed, and fresh fertile soil is exposed to nurture the abundant seedlings.
Soon the seedlings turn to little saplings that will eventually turn into young trees, and the many trees become a forest again. The forest becomes a fresh new home to many creatures for centuries; that is until it is time for new birth again. It’s a natural and healthy cycle. In the wake of what we perceive as disaster, God is making something new.
The forest is not the only example of this. In my own human experience, I can tell you many times over I have experienced what I thought was a situation I may never recover from. So much fear and anxiety arose from my inability to control my situation. In fact at times it was a personal or family disaster. But as I look back, what I can see is that God was doing a cleansing. It was a time of rebirth.
Yet every single time I am faced with a new cleansing process, I still fight it. I am a slow learner. How about you? Have you had similar situations? And are you like me where every single time you face a cleansing time you fight it too? Can you relate? Is there a way can we all remember that whenever disaster strikes it is just another opportunity for God to make something new?
As we are coming upon the Easter season I would like to bring another seemingly disaster to mind. Approximately 2000 years ago the man many believed to be their hope was hung on a tree. As His life-blood drained from His body, so did their hope. Confusion and fear hit them all.
As they walked away from Calvary that day, can you imagine the confusion? They saw the miracles, they heard the wisdom in His words, and now He was gone. They had no idea the rebirth and the freedom that was coming in just a couple of days. In their grief, they could not fathom that death and evil would be conquered. God was making something new, but it started with devastation.
Olive Chapel has been through its own forest fires in the past many years, but in the wake of disaster, God is making something new even in this little church.
If you have recently experienced your own life fires and you are looking for a home church, we would like to extend an invitation to you to come join us on Sundays. Even if you have not experienced any personal disasters in your life, we invite you to come. We would love to fellowship with you. Our services begin at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday mornings. 574-654-3615
Olive Chapel Church is located at the corner of State Road 2 and Timothy Road in New Carlisle.